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E. coli scare changes menu at Little League

May 6, 2007 |
E. Coli

Three Napa Valley Children who got Sick from Hamburger Patties

Following reports early last month of E. coli infection in three Napa Valley children who got sick from hamburger patties sold at a St. Helena Little League snack shack. Little League baseball spectators in St. Helena will no longer be able to buy a burger during game time.

Jim Gamble, president of St. Helena Little League, said the organization's snack shacks now serve only pre-packaged and pre-cooked food. "The resolution was passed in early April. (The children's infection) was an isolated incident and we received contaminated beef. Unfortunately, these children got sick from it. We're all very grateful they've fully recovered. It was scary."

Gamble said the three confirmed reports of E. coli were in children between the ages of 8 and 12.

The meat that sickened the children came from a Napa business, the Salami Lady's Cash & Carry. Jan Dalluge, who has owned the business for five years, said she acquired the product from Richwood Meat Company of Merced. She said meat from Cash & Carry has never before been linked to E. coli contamination.

"We were working very closely with state and county officials after this happened, even before it was in the news. Richwood, the company I've been dealing with, is an excellent company," she said.

Snack Shack Meat Tested Positive for E. coli

Dalluge said she sent approximately 161 cases back to Richwood after the St. Helena Little League snack shack meat tested positive for E. coli.

Multiple calls to Richwood Meat Company were not returned. But according to Richwood's Web site, the company "has voluntarily recalled approximately 107,000 pounds of ground beef products processed on April 28, 2006."

The recalled products were hamburger patties and ground beef with the following names on the label: Fireriver, Chef's Pride, Ritz Food, Blackwood Farms, California Pacific Associates, C & C Distributing, Golbon and Richwood.

Steve Lederer, environmental management director for Napa County Environmental Health, said the public can avoid E. coli contamination by cooking all beef -- especially ground beef thoroughly. Hamburgers should not be cooked rare or medium-rare, he said, adding that all beef products should have an internal temperature of 157 degrees before being consumed.

"There are sampling inspections and protocols conducted by the Food & Drug Administration, but the reality is they are samplings and they don't sample everything. It's not impossible for things to slip through," Lederer said.

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